Study links more medications to adverse effects of mixing grapefruit juice

BALTIMORE, Md. - The bottle says 120% Vitamin C.  It sounds like the perfect drink during cold and flu season.  But before you pick up bottles of grapefruit juice, you better check your pill case.

"On the prescription, yeah, they tell you not to take grapefruit juice when you're taking certain medications," said Bernadette Foster, who is filling her prescription at Union Memorial Hospital.    

Foster got the warning, and now a bigger, bolder message comes from Canadian researchers.  There are now more than 85 oral prescription medications that could over medicate patients; about 25 have been added in the past four years. 

"It helps you absorb more of it, more than you should get.  If you're supposed to get 10 a day and you take grapefruit juice then you may get 30 a day," said Dr. Bill Howard, General Surgeon, Union Memorial Hospital Hospital. 

Dr. Howard says if you're taking the heart medication Multaq, grapefruit could cause a rapid heart rate.  He warns about another popular drug.

"Oxycodone is a drug, painkiller, and it can cause breathing problems with grapefruit juice," said Dr. Howard.    

It is left to a doctor or pharmacist to inform patients about the adverse effects.  But Dr. Howard says the safest thing to do is your own homework. 

"Line up all your medications that have been prescribed.  Get on the computer and check your medication against food or product interactions," said Dr. Howard.    

The study found even a glass of juice hours before or after taking a pill could still lead to an overdose.

The following list of medications that don't mix with grapefruit is compiled by abcnews.com.

A-C
Alfentanil (oral)
Amiodarone
Apixaban
Atorvastatin
Buspirone
Clopidogrel
Crizotinib
Cyclosporine

D-F
Darifenacin
Dasatinib
Dextromethorphan
Domperidone
Dronedarone
Eplerenone
Erlotinib
Erythromycin
Everolimus
Felodipine
Fentanyl (oral)
Fesoterodine

H-P
Halofantrine
Ketamine (oral)
Latatinib
Lovastatin
Lurasidone
Maraviroc
Nifedipine
Nilotinib
Oxycodone

P-Z
Pazopanib
Pimozide
Primaquine
Quinine
Quetiapine
Quinidine
Rilpivirine
Rivaroxaban
Silodosin
Simvastatin
Sirolimus
Solifenacin
Sunitinib
Tacrolimus
Tamsulosin
Ticagrelor
Triazolam
Vandetanib
Venurafenib

Verapamil
Ziprasidone

Print this article Back to Top

Comments